Now, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is to play a role in keeping the transmission network of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) safe. The bigger electrical sub-stations in the state will soon be deployed with GPS to enable precision fault-identification in the event of grid disturbances, KSEB officials said.
The decision comes as part of several protection measures adopted by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) following the power outages which hit north India in July 2012 and a subsequent order issued by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).
Using GPS, KSEB will able to synchronise the internal clocks in its control and protection units and other equipment which will help to precisely identify faults in the system, K Vikraman Nair, Director, (Transmission and System Operation) KSEB, said.
"This is relevant in situations such as a grid collapse or disturbances in the grid. There would be a sequence of trippings in the system in such situations.
"In analysing what went wrong, it would be important to isolate the root cause. Time synchronisation is of utmost importance for that,'' he said.
All 220 kV sub-stations and above will be GPS-enabled as part of the decision which received the nod of the KSEB director board earlier this month.
The power outages on July 30 and 31, 2012, had hit 22 states in north, east and north-eastern India after the grids collapsed. South Indian states escaped relatively unscathed because the southern grid was not synchronised with the national grid at the time.
Following the outages, the CEA had launched a safety audit of protection systems in the transmission facilities in all states to prevent an encore. In January 2014, the southern grid also was linked to the national grid.